Monday, February 08, 2010

Thank you, Martin Nerber!

Recently a Wellfleetian died and left $200,000 to the Wellfleet Public Library. This generous soul’s name was Martin Nerber. Wellfleet does have a great library, but $200,000-great? What is our librarian going to do with that much money? $200,000 buys a whole lot of books and DVDs. With this bequest, the Friends of the Library can surely take a few years off. No more fund-raising needed for the time being. This gift is the perfect second act to becoming a five-star establishment. It takes the recommendation to LOVE THY LIBRARY to a whole new level.

Mr. Nerber also left $75,000 to the Wellfleet Senior Center. $100,000 more went to the Nauset School Committee. The Haiti Club got $50,000. Let’s see, that’s $200,000 + 100,000 + 75,000 + $50,000 = $425,000. Wow! I was going to write about the ice-skaters on Long Pond, but this story is way more interesting. Mr. Nerber stands front and center, holding a book. He died November 9 at age 60. I may have passed Martin on his way in or out of the library, but did not know him. The obit says he studied ballet and photography. His father was a writer/editor and Martin loved to read. Music also was important. After moving back to Wellfleet, where his mother runs a gallery, Martin, of course, visited our library at least once a week. When not reading, he was out flyfishing on pond or beach, a pretty lonely life from the sound of it. Such a story makes me think of the amazing Beatles track, “All the Lonely People,” the one that mentions the woman who kept her face in a jar by the door. Martin might have fit right into that song. I think the reason he left $200,000 to Wellfleet’s Public Library is because our librarians don’t let anyone feel the need to wear a mask. They know everyone by name. They treat people with respect and kindness. Now that policy has really paid off. On behalf of the readers of Wellfleet, thank you, Martin Nerber!